The LA Times lauds the wondrous consumer benefits of Obamacare:
‘Obamacare’ saves consumers nearly $1.5 billion
Health insurance companies passed $1.5 billion in savings mandated by ‘Obamacare’ on to consumers in 2011, a new analysis shows.
The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law.
The rules “appear to be producing important consumer benefits,” concluded the report’s authors
But not so fast. First of all, you’re talking about $1.5 billion in savings as compared to the $235 billion spent on insurance premiums last year. That’s a savings of 0.6%. So if your employer spent $1000/month on your health insurance last year, you’d have saved $6/month.
Second, those miniscule savings have already been swallowed up since. The article eventually gets around to noting that:
The average cost of an employer-provided family health plan jumped 4% to $15,745 between 2011 and 2012
So as a means of reducing the rate of premium inflation, Obamacare has already been a bust. Further, if you go to the actual report, you find that the area where the greatest savings were realized was individual policies, and that the individual insurance policy industry as a whole took a real beating in 2011. That led the authors of the study to provide this caveat:
On the other hand, further pressure on premium rates might cause some insurers to leave certain market segments, if they cannot maintain adequate profits.
So is Obamacare all that? Not hardly.